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Seattle Hires David Abrams to Review KeyArena Pitch

Seattle Arena Oak View Group

As it continues to take a close look at Oak View Group‘s pitch to remodel KeyArena, the City of Seattle is asking David Abrams to advise negotiators. 

Last month, the city revealed that it had selected a proposal from the Oak View Group to renovate KeyArena, and would move forward with negotiations with the firm. As part of its $564 million plan, Oak View Group has proposed bringing the arena to modern NBA and NHL standards and digging down 15 feet to expand the venue to 660,000 square feet.

Negotiations are expected to unfold over the next several months, and Abrams will play a key role. The city has selected Abrams of Inner Circle Sports to work with its negotiation team as it continues discussions with the Oak View Group, providing the city with additional resources as it moves forward with the process. More from The Seattle Times:

So, he’ll advise city negotiators and be made available to the Seattle City Council for information on what to look for, ask for and avoid during this round of talks.

Then, as a further backstop, the council itself is seeking its own independent consultant to review the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) negotiated between OVG and the city. The council has asked Mayor Ed Murray that the MOU draft be completed by Sept. 12 so that it can hold at least one public meeting before voting on the package.

But that September date won’t be the first time the council gets an idea about MOU contents. On Monday, the council’s Select Committee on Civic Arenas will hold its first meeting since OVG was selected as the city’s designated renovation partner.

The committee, co-chaired by council members Debra Juarez and Bruce Harrell, will help give the council input during negotiations. Both branches of government must remain separate – meaning the council can’t sit in directly on negotiations – but the idea is to have liaisons incorporate the council’s demands into the city’s talks with OVG.

Oak View Group had submitted its KeyArena plan in response to a request for proposal that was issued by the city earlier this year. Seattle has another proposal on the table concerning its current arena situation, as developer Chris Hansen has pitched a privately-financed new arena in the city’s Sodo neighborhood.

Rendering courtesy Oak View Group. 

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